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UniverCity named Canada's best community development

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Contact
Michael Geller, SFU Community Trust, 604.291.3138, geller@sfu.ca
or visit www.univercity.ca
Marianne Meadahl, Acting Director, SFU Media/Public Relations, 604.291.4324/3210


March 3, 2006
It may be the new kid on the block, but UniverCity, the new community at Simon Fraser University, is already turning national heads.

UniverCity has won the 2005 Canadian Home Builders Association Sales and Marketing (SAM) award for best community development. The award recognizes achievements in creating “attractive, exciting and innovative communities.” SAM awards celebrate excellence in projects across Canada.

“I am delighted that our accomplishments have been recognized,” says Michael Geller, President and CEO of the SFU Community Trust. “It is gratifying to receive this recognition at such an early stage in our development.”

The SAM award recognizes the success of the first neighbourhood, UniverCity Highlands, as a safe, healthy, and liveable neighborhood which includes townhouses, apartments, shops, a Town Square, neighbourhood park, and future school, all in walking or cycling distance of one another. To date, more than 1000 homes have been completed, or are under construction.

Buildings also include legalized secondary suites which allow apartment owners to rent out a portion of their units to students or others seeking affordable housing. 'These are like mortgage helpers in the sky,” says Geller, who praises the City of Burnaby for supporting this and other innovative zoning features.

The SAM award is one of several garnered to date by UniverCity. Earlier this month, The Cornerstone, the first building in the village centre, won a CHBA Georgie Award for its environmental consideration. UniverCity was also selected by AUREO, the Association for University Real Estate Officials, as the 2005 Best Project. Closer to home, The Cornerstone earned the City of Burnaby's Environmental Award, along with a BC Hydro Award for its Power Smart features.

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Websites:
Canadian Homebuilders Association; www.chba.ca
Association for University Real Estate Officials; www.aureo.org/